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Obama considers making veterans pay for treatment

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RightHand, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member


    <!-- BEGIN TEMPLATE: bbcode_quote --> Quote:
    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.But the proposal would be "dead on arrival" if it's sent to Congress, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, said.

    Murray used that blunt terminology when she told Shinseki that the idea would not be acceptable and would be rejected if formally proposed. Her remarks came during a hearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs about the 2010 budget.

    No official proposal to create such a program has been announced publicly, but veterans groups wrote a pre-emptive letter last week to President Obama voicing their opposition to the idea after hearing the plan was under consideration.

    The groups also cited an increase in "third-party collections" estimated in the 2010 budget proposal -- something they said could be achieved only if the Veterans Administration started billing for service-related injuries.

    Asked about the proposal, Shinseki said it was under "consideration."

    "A final decision hasn't been made yet," he said.

    Currently, veterans' private insurance is charged only when they receive health care from the VA for medical issues that are not related to service injuries, like getting the flu.

    Charging for service-related injuries would violate "a sacred trust," Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Joe Davis said. Davis said the move would risk private health care for veterans and their families by potentially maxing out benefits paying for costly war injury treatments.A second senator, North Carolina Republican Richard Burr, said he agreed that the idea should not go forward.

    "I think you will give that up" as a revenue stream if it is included in this April's budget, Burr said.

    Murray said she'd already discussed her concerns with the secretary the previous week.

    "I believe that veterans with service-connected injuries have already paid by putting their lives on the line," Murray said in her remarks. "I don't think we should nickel and dime them for their care."

    Eleven of the most prominent veterans organizations have been lobbying Congress to oppose the idea. In the letter sent last week to the president, the groups warned that the idea "is wholly unacceptable and a total abrogation of our government's moral and legal responsibility to the men and women who have sacrificed so much."

    The groups included The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

    At the time, a White House spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the option was being considered.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Shinseki should know better. Vets will cream him for even allowing the mention.
  3. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Talk about your proverbial Turd in the punch bowl?
  4. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    Give illegal emigrates all the free health care they want but make our veterans pay for it. I am all for it any thing that helps bring this carnival ride we are on to a stop. A bunch if pizzed off vets that should slow it down some
  5. Pauly Walnuts

    Pauly Walnuts Monkey++

    This guy is a clown, WTF?
  6. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Hey, y'all be careful, you piss off Shinseki and he will order all disabled vets to wear a beret! And don't think he won't, he's already done it once.
  7. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I had a great deal of respect for Shinseki, even tho' he was in knee pants while I was serving. If this business of him even thinking of tapping the vets (including me) for service related medical problems is true, he ain't worth the sweat off a grunt's hangy things. I have a hard time believing he would support it. (No beret for me, I'm not in his command.)
  8. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    From VA Watchdog.org

    journalism and blog rants have distorted a
    budget proposal into something it isn't.

    by Larry Scott

    I'm going to start this exactly the way I started my last "Rumor Control" piece...

    I love the Internet. I hate the Internet.

    Love... the fact that the Internet allows us to communicate instantly and retrieve information that, just a few years ago, would have been nearly impossible to find.

    Hate... the fact that any whack-job with a half-baked conspiracy theory can hunt-and-peck his way into my living room.

    So, it's time to put another stupid rumor to rest.

    The latest rumor revolves around a news story about VA Secretary Eric Shinseki "considering" a proposal to allow the VA to bill insurance companies for care received by service-connected disabled veterans. That story here...

    The problem is that the story has been misinterpreted and blown all out of proportion.
    As we know, the VA now bills insurance carriers for non-service-connected care if the veteran has insurance. If they don't, VA covers the care. And, currently, VA does not bill private carriers for service-connected care. (NOTE: Please don't write and tell me VA is billing your insurance company for service-connected care. We know that these mistakes can happen if procedures are coded incorrectly. These errors can be corrected by working with your local VA Billing Office.)
    So, now we have some pseudo-journalist who just read the first part of the above article and picked out the phrase "make veterans pay" and didn't read the rest of the article for a full explanation of VA's insurance billing policy.
    This person then went on to castigate Sec. Shinseki for even "considering" such a proposal. But, there's a problem with that. It's Shinseki's job to "consider" what is put on his desk. That's what they pay him to do. This proposal came from the Office of Management and Budget and is one of many proposals being "considered."

    And, it is unfair to criticize Shinseki for doing his job when we don't even know what his response to the proposal might be. Remember, it's under "consideration" and we'll hear from him if he makes a statement or when the 2010 VA budget is drafted. If we don't like his stance on the proposal, we can scream then, but have no right to at this time. It should also be noted that this would never pass Congress.
    This whole rumor thing gets worse. Leave it to some blogger to rant this into the ground by completely missing the concept and claiming that the government is going to force veterans to buy insurance to pay for their VA healthcare. Not so. Completely false. Bogus. You get the idea.
    It is really frustrating to see people put out false information... information that only confuses and scares veterans.
    Now, this nonsense has been put into email form and is going viral... so, if you haven't seen it yet, you will.
    Ignore it for what it is... trash.
    To remember: This is not Shinseki's idea. And, this comes from (according to a highly-placed official at a vets' service org) a bunch of 30-something budget wonks who have their heads stuck in their calculators and know little of the real world... but, they'll find out.
    We will know soon enough if Shinseki accepts or rejects this proposal (my bet is that he trashes it), and that will tell us much about the man who is now VA Secretary.
  9. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I love it when conspiracy theorists take a thread and make a carpet!
    What a nightmare....Too bad one can't discern just who the "irresponsible" individuals are, and put them: "out of business".
    My sentiments.
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